Althouse | category: etiquette



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"The worst airlines treat passengers as an encumbrance, and today the same has become true of many restaurants."

"For three-plus years we’ve valorized plucky, resourceful restaurants and heroic staffers for staying the course, only to find, in many cases, they’re now delivering unhappy experiences and terrible value without apology. My wife and I were recently seated in a once-favorite city pub where the cost of a casual lunch, with beers and service charges, has careened toward $100. After scanning the QR and peering at the online menu for 30 minutes but being entirely ignored by the waitstaff, we finally gave up and walked out - and the host was angry with US. Restaurants are vital but this you-are-fortunate-to-be-seated-here-at-any-price attitude has to change."

From the article:
Sam Hart, the chef who owns Counter- and Biblio in Charlotte, N.C., has taken a counterintuitive approach: putting guests last. First on the list of what he calls “the seven priorities” are employees and their mental health. The idea is that if a restaurant’s whole ecosystem is working smoothly, guests will never know they aren’t the priority....

“It’s gotten to the point where something must be said: an ever-growing portion of inconsiderate guests are destroying the hospitality industry,” [Hart] wrote. He listed 13 things customers should not do while eating out, including snapping fingers to get servers’ attention, threatening to post a negative review and “thinking that you own the place.”...

The thing about restaurants is that, in the end, you don't need them. You don't have to go. Ever. If you've come to expect awful people — the employees or the customers — you can solve the whole problem by not going at all. You need food, but you don't need to sit in a place where someone else makes it for you and serves it to you and cleans up after you. Maybe you eat out because you want contact with the human beings. As to that, I'd say: Better than nothing is a high standard.

By the way, I have never seen anyone in a restaurant snap their fingers to get service. That sounds like something done by a character you're not supposed to like in a very old movie. It's always a man, and he calls out "Garçon!" 

"... and I continue my nightly ritual..."

Ludicrously disingenuous letter to the NYT "Social Q" advice columnist:
My husband was chatting with our new neighbor when the neighbor mentioned he could see me undressing at night through my bathroom window. Our homes are on three-quarter-acre lots, so we’re not that close. My husband was speechless, and I continue my nightly ritual, which does not include drawing the shades. Was our neighbor wrong to say something? Shouldn’t he not look?

How do you "not look" at something that you must first see to know it's there and not to be looked at?

ADDED: The use of the word "ritual" lays bare the performance element of this woman's behavior. But the real question is, why did the NYT publish this letter? I'll bet I could write a blog, posting daily, devoted entirely to exposing the gratuitous nudity in the NYT.

For example — from May 19th — "Naked Stand-Up Comedy: Everything You Imagine, but Oh So Much More/Do you wear shoes onstage? What’s it like to bomb while nude? And, ahem, where do you keep your notes? But the shows often sell out" ("... she is entirely naked...").

And, from yesterday — "Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Nudity in ‘Romeo and Juliet’/The actors in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film sued Paramount Pictures last year over a scene in which the star-crossed title characters woke up together in the nude" ("The judge dismissed the lawsuit, writing that the claim concerned filmmaking, a protected activity under the First Amendment").

"I think that free expression is a complicated, broad, nuanced field, and I’m not a free-speech absolutist."

"We make decisions about speech and expression all the time, and that’s the job of a free-expression organization. The question of whether a festival should feature both Ukrainian and Russian writers is a perfectly legitimate one, and it raises all sorts of other questions: is it O.K. for them to speak in the same spaces, or for them to speak in different spaces on the same topic, or in different time slots? But that’s not what happened. What happened was that both Russian and Ukrainian writers were invited. And then, when the Ukrainian writers arrived and said, 'We can’t speak at the same festival with Russians,' the Russians were disinvited. To disinvite them is not just impolite, but it’s also basically saying, 'Look, we thought your expression was legitimate and desirable until other people said it wasn’t.' That, I think, violates the principles of free expression. A free-expression organization can’t be in that business of saying, 'We don’t want you to speak because someone else doesn’t want you to speak.'"

"Your baby is a gift to a struggling world, and an inspiring new chapter in your lives. That’s the thing—your lives."

"Not mine. I will not board a plane for your baby.... If you’ve been to a comedy club in the past century, you know about the psychic pain that airports inflict.... If I were a doctor, you’d have to pay me to see your baby. Just to be clear, I’m not an anti-natalist. Unless that gets me out of this more easily—in that case, I’m a fiery anti-natalist. Every day I awake and think of innovative new ways to reduce the population. I write them on the back of a photo of Malthus that I keep in my wallet. It may take a village to raise a child. But I don’t live in your village. Or state. Or time zone...."

From a New Yorker humor piece by Dennard Dayle, "I Will Not Board a Plane to Visit Your Baby."

ADDED: Humor aside, what do we think of the ethics of resisting pressure to come see a baby. I asked ChatGPT:
Am I doing something wrong if I decline to visit a friend who wants me to come over just to see their baby?  
No, declining a visit to see a friend's baby does not necessarily mean you are doing something wrong. There can be various reasons why you might choose not to visit, and it is important to prioritize your own needs and well-being. 
Here are a few possible reasons why you might decline the invitation: 
1. Personal commitments: You might have other obligations or commitments that prevent you from visiting, such as work, family responsibilities, or prior engagements. It's essential to manage your time effectively and make choices based on your own schedule and priorities. 
2. Distance or logistics: If the friend lives far away or the visit requires significant travel time, it might not be feasible or convenient for you to make the trip. Consider the practicality of the visit and whether it aligns with your current circumstances. 
3. Health concerns: If you are feeling unwell, have a compromised immune system, or are concerned about the risk of spreading or contracting an illness, it is perfectly valid to prioritize your health and avoid unnecessary exposure. 
4. Personal boundaries: Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to socializing or visiting others. If you feel overwhelmed or prefer to have some personal space, it's important to communicate your needs and set boundaries accordingly. Respect your own emotional well-being and make choices that align with your comfort level. 
5. Other reasons: There can be various other factors influencing your decision, such as financial constraints, personal preferences, or simply not feeling up to socializing at the moment. Trust your instincts and make choices that are best for you. 
It's important to communicate your decision to your friend respectfully and honestly. Let them know that while you appreciate their invitation, you are unable to visit at this time. Maintaining open and honest communication can help foster understanding and ensure a healthy friendship.
What if I know that the true reason is that I'm not interest[ed] in seeing a baby, it's a boring thing to do, and little babies are, in my view, all alike? 
It's understandable that you may not find visiting a baby to be personally engaging or interesting. People have different preferences and interests, and it's okay to have your own perspective on what you find enjoyable or stimulating. 
However, it's important to approach the situation with sensitivity and respect for your friend's feelings. While you may not share the same enthusiasm for seeing their baby, they might be excited to share this significant moment in their life with you. 
Here are a few suggestions on how to navigate the situation: 
1. Be considerate: Recognize that your friend's invitation likely stems from a place of joy and pride. Even if you're not particularly interested in babies, try to empathize with their excitement and acknowledge the significance of this event in their life. 
2. Express your feelings diplomatically: Instead of outright dismissing the idea or expressing disinterest, you can choose to communicate your feelings in a gentle and diplomatic manner. You can thank your friend for the invitation and explain that while you may not be personally interested in visiting babies, you are happy for them and appreciate their desire to share this experience with you. 
3. Offer alternative ways to connect: If you're not interested in visiting the baby, consider suggesting alternative ways to spend time with your friend. You could propose meeting up for a coffee or engaging in an activity that you both enjoy. This allows you to maintain the connection and spend time together without necessarily focusing on the baby. 
4. Be understanding: Understand that your friend's priorities have shifted with the arrival of their baby, and they may be more immersed in that aspect of their life for a while. Be patient and understanding of their new responsibilities and commitments. 
Remember, maintaining a healthy and respectful friendship means considering each other's feelings and finding common ground. It's okay to have differing interests, as long as you approach the situation with empathy and open communication. 
Are you saying it's okay for me to be a bad person if I'm polite about avoiding things that I don't want to do? 
No, that is not what I'm saying at all. Polite and respectful communication is important in maintaining healthy relationships, but it doesn't make someone a "bad person" for having personal preferences or interests 
Being a good person is not solely determined by whether you find certain activities interesting or enjoyable. It's about how you treat others, show empathy, and respect their feelings and boundaries. 
In this case, if you choose not to visit your friend's baby but communicate your decision politely and respectfully, you are demonstrating consideration for their feelings while still maintaining your own boundaries. It's perfectly acceptable to have different interests and preferences, as long as you approach the situation with kindness and understanding. 
It's important to remember that we all have our own unique perspectives and preferences, and it's natural for them to differ from person to person. As long as you treat others with respect, honesty, and kindness, it does not make you a "bad person" for having different views or preferences.

When the manners expert is unaccountably snooty... and wrong.

Miss Manners, at WaPo — answering some question about how to eat haricot verts and informing us that haricots verts means string beans — adds a snarky parenthetical: "(Considering the number of people who think 'RSVP' is a noun, Miss Manners is not going to trust that everyone passed high school French.)"

First, passing a high school course doesn't signify much knowledge. What do you have to do to fail? Surely not enough to ensure you know the phrase underlying the initialism "RSVP." I'll bet you could pass without even knowing how to say "please."

But more importantly, is there anything about French that makes it wrong for a person speaking English to use "RSVP" as a noun? I find my answer in the Oxford English Dictionary:

When the manners expert is unaccountably snooty... and wrong.

Clearly, it's completely correct and solidly English, to use "RSVP" as a noun. It's been used as a noun since 1850. The oldest attested usage as a verb is from 1942. 

If you're going to get snooty and look down on others, you'd better make sure you're correct... especially if you're posing as an expert on etiquette.

The first letter in that column — before the haricots verts — is about a child's pronoun preferences. I was considering blogging about that, but perhaps you've had enough of that grammar lesson and prefer the one I chose. One or the other — it's all more or less eating your vegetables.

In case you're interested, there are some elderly family members who try to remember to use the child's "they/them" preference, but they forget sometimes, and the child "will either aggressively correct the offender or refuse to respond." Now, the letter-writer finds herself/himself "hesitant to converse with them." It hasn't worked to ask for "grace in the transition" — that is, the transition from speaking one way to speaking another — but the child is focused on themself and the parent — singular — is backing them up, defending "this aggressive approach to 'prevent them from being disrespected.'"

The etiquette expert gives no useful advice, just acknowledges the hypocrisy about showing/demanding respect and — hoping the child matures — saying nothing about the awful parent. 

"It was a very valuable experience to me, and a lesson that ideas, no matter how vile, should be argued, defended, and defeated in public."

Writes Vesuviano in the most-liked comment at the NYT on the article "At Stanford Law School, the Dean Takes a Stand for Free Speech. Will It Work?" 

The article is the subject of my first post of the day, but I wanted to give this fantastic comment its own post:
"In 1969 I was a student at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland. Members of the American Nazi Party were allowed to visit the school and present their point of view that the Holocaust had not happened. The event was held after school in the cafeteria, and expectations for students who chose to attend were made absolutely clear to us by the principal. We were to be respectful at all times; we were not to interrupt the speakers; anything we had to say could be said in the Q & A afterwards. Those of us who attended prepared ourselves extremely well and did as we had been directed. During the presentation we took notes, sat on our hands, kept our mouths shut, and did not interrupt the speakers in any way. Then afterwards in the Q & A we absolutely shredded them. When they left, they knew they had been soundly trounced by a bunch of high school history geeks. It was a very valuable experience to me, and a lesson that ideas, no matter how vile, should be argued, defended, and defeated in public."

Today, there's this notion that the young people would be injured by having to hear bad speech, but these kids had an energizing, uplifting, sublimely memorable experience. 

"The right to be rude to people in public has been upheld as a fundamental legal one by a supreme court in the United States."

"Not the Supreme Court of the United States, admittedly — it really would be astounding if those pompous geriatric arseholes could take a break from sending women’s reproductive rights back to the Stone Age and legislate on something useful — just the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. But it’s still a thing. Even if the court itself is barely more than a provincial Portakabin of self-important windbags I would hesitate to characterise as bog-trotting, gin-soaked hayseeds had they not just loudly decreed that my right to do so is mandated by their constitution.... Rudeness is funny and useful and democratising and classless and easy and brilliant and sexy.... [Rudeness] is letting your mouth and brain go full tilt when you’re pissed off with someone, deliberately eschewing the rules of politeness and gentility to make absolutely clear what you think of them."

A slight qualification emerges: You're "free to say absolutely whatever you like to anyone, as long as he is a rich, white, able-bodied, educationally normal straight bloke of about 53. But don’t worry, I can take it."

Judge Duncan's Wall Street Journal column: "My Struggle Session at Stanford Law School."

Stanford Law School’s website touts its “collegial culture” in which “collaboration and the open exchange of ideas are essential to life and learning.” Then there’s the culture I experienced when I visited Stanford last week.... 
When I arrived, the walls were festooned with posters denouncing me for crimes against women, gays, blacks and “trans people.” Plastered everywhere were photos of the students who had invited me and fliers declaring “You should be ASHAMED,” with the last word in large red capital letters and a horror-movie font. This didn’t seem “collegial.” Walking to the building where I would deliver my talk, I could hear loud chanting a good 50 yards away, reminiscent of a tent revival in its intensity. Some 100 students were massed outside the classroom as I entered, faces painted every color of the rainbow, waving signs and banners, jeering and stamping and howling.  As I entered the classroom, one protester screamed: “We hope your daughters get raped!”

It was a big protest, generated by the real human beings the law school had assembled as its student body, not propaganda on the institution's website. It's real life, like the life experienced beyond the courthouse and beyond the law school, and it's not that polite. You know, it's also not polite to put "trans people" in quotation marks. It's a more polished form of incivility, but law students have long protested about the way law dresses up and glosses over injustice.

Of course, “We hope your daughters get raped!” is crude and ugly, but the right to defend one's own body has been taken away by the judges, and now, in America, a woman who has been raped may be forced to endure a pregnancy from that rape. In that context, “We hope your daughters get raped!” means: You might feel some empathy for us if it happened to someone close to you.

I had been warned a few days before about a possible protest. But Stanford administrators assured me they were “on top of it,” that Stanford’s policies permitted “protest but not disruption.” They weren’t “on top of it.”

Yes. The school failed him. Not only did the website promise collegiality, administrators, it seems, directly promised conditions that he relied on. You could parse their promise. What does it mean to be "on top of it"? What is "it"? They didn't say they would stop the protest. The students had a right to protest. The line was drawn at disruption, and where's the line between protest and disruption? Can we have a collegial debate about that? I'll bet we can't!

Before my talk started, the mob flooded the room. Banners unfurled. Signs brandished: “FED SUCK,” “Trans Lives Matter” (this one upside down), and others that can’t be quoted in a family newspaper. A nervous dog—literally, a canine—was in the front row, fur striped with paint....

Speaking of empathy... don't bring a dog into a noisy, chaotic scene. And don't paint your dog. I wonder what size and breed. It is dangerous to everyone to have a "nervous dog" in a place like that, and it's cruel to the dog.

When the Federalist Society president tried to introduce me, the heckling began.... Try delivering a speech while being jeered at every third word. This was an utter farce, a staged public shaming. I stopped, pleaded with the students to stop the stream of insults (which only made them louder), and asked if administrators were present. Enter Tirien Steinbach, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. 
Ms. Steinbach and (I later learned) other administrators were watching from the periphery. She hadn’t introduced herself to me. She asked to address the students. Something felt off. I asked her to tell the students their infantile behavior was inappropriate.

One could hardly expect the dean for diversity, equity and inclusion to take the judge's instruction and call the students babies. She had a lot of interests to mediate and an important, ongoing relationship with the students. 

She insisted she wanted to talk to all of us. Students began screaming, and I reluctantly gave way. Whereupon Ms. Steinbach opened a folio, took out a printed sheaf of papers, and delivered a six-minute speech addressing the question: “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” What could that mean?

It's impossible for Wall Street Journal readers to guess what that could mean. It's out of context. Metaphors look weird when you don't know what they refer to. Clearly, it's questioning whether some effort is worth what you get from it. It's not that weird.

While the students rhythmically snapped, Ms. Steinbach attempted to explain. My “work,” she said, “has caused harm.” It “feels abhorrent” and “literally denies the humanity of people.” My presence put Ms. Steinbach in a tough spot, she said, because her job “is to create a space of belonging for all people” at Stanford. She assured me I was “absolutely welcome in this space” because “me and many people in this administration do absolutely believe in free speech.” 
I didn’t feel welcome—who would? And she repeated the cryptic question: “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

It's not that hard to understand, and you've deprived readers of the context. Steinbach's remarks made sense and dealt with the relationship between the speaker and the protesters that she needed to manage. She told him he was "absolutely welcome in this space," but he wants us to care about his feelings — he didn't feel welcome — but the students had their feelings too. Steinbach stood in a crossfire of feelings, and she did well enough.

I asked again what she meant, and she finally put the question plainly: Was my talk “worth the pain that this causes and the division that this causes?” 
Again she asserted her belief in free speech before equivocating: “I understand why people feel like the harm is so great that we might need to reconsider those policies, and luckily, they’re in a school where they can learn the advocacy skills to advocate for those changes.”

That is, Steinbach acknowledged that there are different legal positions that are taken about free speech and this, too, is a subject for debate in law school. That is certainly true. Free speech rights could be lost if people don't believe in their value. It's not that difficult to articulate the arguments for limitations on free speech. Those of us who care about free speech rights need to be vigilant. They've been under attack for centuries, and they are under attack right now, from people, like those students, who would characterize some spoken words as a physical injury.

Then she turned the floor back over to me, while hoping I could “learn too” and “listen through your partisan lens, the hyperpolitical lens.”

That sentence needs editing to put "hoping" closer to "she," but you can figure it out. She told him that she hoped he could not just talk to the students and teach them but listen to them and learn from them. She accused him of being political — hyperpolitical

In closing, she said: “I look out and I don’t ask, ‘What’s going on here?’ I look out and I say, ‘I’m glad this is going on here.’ ”

She was suggesting that protesting be seen in a positive light. Perhaps somehow the judge could have taken a lighthearted tone — I love protests! I was a student protester myself and I know how it feels to be righteously angry, etc. etc. — and connected it back to the things he came prepared to say. There was a path in that direction, but it was a road not taken.

This is on video, and the entire event is on audio, in case you’re wondering....

I've heard the audio. The judge becomes impassioned, and he expresses a good amount of hostility toward the students. As a law professor (retired), I can't imagine openly expressing hostility toward students who were aiming hostility at me. I lock into professor mode, mostly because I believe I have a duty to care for the students but also because I think a dispassionate, professional demeanor is more effective — especially when your interlocutors are highly emotional. Set the right example, and maybe they will meet you where you can coexist in something approaching conversation. 

Two days later, Jenny Martinez and Marc Tessier-Lavinge, respectively the law school’s dean and the university’s president, formally apologized, confirming that protesters and administrators had violated Stanford policy. I’m grateful and I accepted. 
The matter hasn’t dropped, though. This week, nearly one-third of Stanford law students continued the protest—donning masks, wearing black, and forming a “human corridor” inside the school... protesting Ms. Martinez for having apologized to me....

I don't think it was right to apologize for what Steinbach did. And I think the students had the right to protest. If they crossed the line into disruption, Martinez (and Tessier-Lavinge) should specify exactly where that happened. And they ought to apologize for the institution's failure to do enough to prevent the disruption or to deal with it quickly. 

The protesters showed not the foggiest grasp of the basic concepts of legal discourse: That one must meet reason with reason, not power. That jeering contempt is the opposite of persuasion.

I don't think the students needed to limit themselves to "legal discourse." This wasn't the courtroom or the classroom. They were protesting, going outside of the "legal discourse" that the judge would have preferred. Protesting is an old tradition, and it's important, though sometimes rude and ugly. The students seem to have thought — with some reason — that judges like Duncan deserve to be made to feel ashamed of themselves and they went into the familiar theatrical protest style we Americans have loved and hated for so many years.  

That the law protects the speaker from the mob, not the mob from the speaker.

He keeps calling students "the mob." Where's the love? These are our young people. They did not commit violence or threaten imminent violence, so there was no occasion to protect him, as First Amendment law is traditionally understood. There's no First Amendment right not to be heckled! And calling the speaks "the mob" doesn't take away their rights. 

Worst of all, Ms. Steinbach’s remarks made clear she is proud that Stanford students are being taught this is the way law should be.

She wanted the students to know that the First Amendment — which Stanford, though private, is bound to follow —  is subject to interpretation and they may apply their legal skills to working to develop strong exceptions to free speech. Ironically, Duncan is arguing for a strong exception to free speech if he means to say that the students may not shout him down. 

I have been criticized in the media for getting angry at the protesters. It’s true I called them “appalling idiots,” “bullies” and “hypocrites.” They are, and I won’t apologize for saying so. Sometimes anger is the proper response to vicious behavior.

All right, then. He stands by his angry expressions. As I said, I would not, as a law professor, talk to students that way. But he wants the freedom to lean into anger. That puts him on the same page with them. Whatever happened to "the foggiest grasp of the basic concepts of legal discourse."

There's a lot of fog here!

"You might read comments somewhere that I was, at some point, given 'permission' to deliver my remarks by the DEI Assistant Dean, Steinbach. Nonsense."

"For a good 20-30 minutes (I’m estimating), I was ruthlessly mocked and shouted down by a mob after every third word. And then Steinbach launched into her bizarre prepared speech where she simultaneously 'welcomed' me to campus and told me how horrible and hurtful I was to the community. Then she said I should be free to deliver my remarks. Try delivering a lecture under those circumstances. Basically, they wanted me to make a hostage video. No thanks. The whole thing was a staged public shaming, and after I realized that I refused to play along."

Said Judge Kyle Duncan, interviewed by Rod Dreher (at Substack).

So, the judge declined to deliver his speech after Steinbach quieted the crowd for him. He's also now calling for her to be fired. He says it was a "staged public shaming," but that's the same thing as saying that the protest was planned. He and his supporters are engaging in staged public shaming too, and they want a person not just disrupted on one evening but deprived of her job. That's tit for tat and a refusal to stand down.

I'm contemplating whether to give this post my "civility bullshit" tag. I'm against one-sided calls to stand down in the name of etiquette. The students protested, as students do. They're not polite. Should they be more polite? Don't say yes just because they're on the other side from you. But in this case, Duncan is not standing down. He's attacking the students harshly and he wants Dean Steinbach — who stepped up when he asked for an administrator to restore order — fired.

Duncan makes a general argument for civility in a law school. Lawyers must speak "with care, precision, and respect for your opponent." What the protesting students were doing, he says, is "the opposite of what it means to be a lawyer." Lawyers never get angry and shout and cut off other people who are trying to speak?

And is a law school just a machine for turning young people into practicing lawyers? No, you can do a lot of things with a law degree, and you can go to any school for your own purposes, including a plan to become a political activist or even to acquire a deep understanding of the subject matter. 

It's not inherent in the nature of law school that you must meet high standards of etiquette. The school may want to provide a welcoming space to its guests, but the students have ideas of their own. How do you convince them to hear out speakers they revile? I don't think it's by telling law students they need to act like lawyers in a courtroom. That's not persuasive! Of course, a federal judge is used to experiencing extreme deference in the courtroom. That's not the rough and tumble of a public speech.

Here's Duncan's direct attack on Steinbach:
Instead of explaining to the students that they should respect an invited guest at the law school (yes, a federal judge, but really this applies to any guest), even one they might disagree with passionately, she launched into a bizarre (and already printed out) monologue where she accused me of causing “hurt” and “division” in the law school community by my mere presence on campus. So, this had the effect of validating the mob. Then, at the same time, she pretended to “welcome” me to campus so that I could express my views. All of this was delivered, as anyone can see from the video, in the voice and idiom of a therapist.

He's criticizing her voice. He's tone policing!

I found it profoundly creepy.

He doesn't need protection from creepiness. If the tables were turned, and he were the lefty, wouldn't conservatives call him a "snowflake"?

It was the language of “compassion” and “feelings,” but it came across as deeply controlling and aggressive.

It "came across as".... You're calling for a person to lose her job. You, with your life tenure guarantee. Your subjective experience is worth hearing about, but it doesn't establish that she did something terribly wrong. She had a hard task to carry out, and you ought to try to understand how it felt, subjectively, to her.  

Many people are talking about the weird metaphor she used: “Was the juice worth the squeeze?” I had no idea what she was talking about, but at some point I realized that she meant, “Yes, you were invited to campus, and we ‘welcome’ you. But your presence here is causing such hurt and division. So, was what you were going to talk about really worth all this pain you’re causing by coming here?” In other words, it’s just a folksy way of giving these students a heckler’s veto.

But it's not a heckler's veto, because she was clearing the way for you to speak. She was caring for the students' concerns and simultaneously helping you.  She was engaging in an intellectual consideration of the issues of protest and the right to hear a speaker. Notice the question mark: "Was the juice worth the squeeze?" It's an important question, and she answered it in your favor while also supporting the students.

If they hate you enough, then surely it wasn’t worth your coming to campus. Apply that twisted idea to the civil rights movement, and see where you end up. It isn’t on the side of the people marching across the Selma bridge.

You reject their analogies, and I'm pretty sure they'll reject that one of yours. 

In other words, what the dean was preaching is the exact opposite of the law of free speech. We protect the speaker from the mob, not the mob from the speaker.

Was there a threat of physical violence? No. Do we protect the speaker from the words of the "mob"? Duncan must know it's not "the exact opposite of the law of free speech." This wasn't a case of the speaker being punished for riling up the crowd. It was only a case of the crowd drowning out the speaker's speech with more speech. 

And here was a dean of one of the best law schools in the world using the exact opposite of that basic principle to silence a sitting federal judge....

How was she silencing you? She was clearing the way for you, she just took longer to do it than you would have liked and she acknowledged the feelings and opinions of the protesters as she did it.

Duncan returns to the idea of a law school as the manufacturer of lawyers:

[T]he whole point of law school is to train bright-yet-unformed young minds to “think like a lawyer.” You’ve seen The Paper Chase, of course. The brilliant professor Kingsfield humbles the first year law students with his withering Socratic interrogation. Now we’ve evidently turned that model upside down.

Has he seen the movie "The Paper Chase"?! Kingsfield isn't the hero. The law student is, and the film audience is on the side of the student. The film turns that model upside down!

Ah, but Duncan's idea is that he — in the classroom — not as a professor, but an outside speaker — ought to have been respected and revered like the old-fashioned law prof. In that light, he spoofs:

The first year law students ridicule and silence Kingsfield for his cis-hetero-normativity, and then Kingsfield is publicly disciplined by the assistant DEI dean for harming the community’s sense of “belonging” by expecting them to recite a case.

Duncan was not "publicly disciplined." He was interrupted by rude noise from students, and the DEI dean restored order using an overlong speech he didn't enjoy. The dean invited the students to leave the room and they did. He was never pushed to help them feel that they belonged.

What did Duncan actually say after order was restored? He says he declined to give his prepared remarks. So what did he do instead? Did he rise to the occasion? Is there video of what went on after Steinbach spoke? I'd like to see it. 

When the manners expert is unaccountably snooty... and wrong.

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